Hiland Running of the Bulls

I work in IT, it’s 9:00am, and I’m running down the street with fourteen of my co-workers, trying to escape a large group of roller derby women that are trying to whack us with whiffle bats.

And I paid to do it.

Ok, let me back this up. You’re going to need a bit of history.

I know that out there, beyond our walls and our field, there exists a certain stereotype of what IT is like, culturally. But the great thing about Long View is that while we can certainly admit to some qualities inherent in being IT professionals, we’re definitely not that easy to pin down.

We’ve taken a very deliberate approach to fostering and building a community of fun within our offices.  My 9:00am roller-derby-whiffle-bat-story a case in point.

Recently we put together a Community Relations Committee to discuss and communicate out the things we found many of us were already doing in our communities.  We kicked off the formation of the committee with our first event on July 13, the Denver Highland Running of the Bulls.

2013 was the third annual occurrence of this unique event. Inspired by the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, the Highland Running of the Bulls is a fundraiser that raises money for Denver’s Tennyson Center for Children, an organization whose aim is to help children and their families overcome abuse and neglect.

In Pamplona, participants in the event dress all in white with red accents. And then bulls chase them.

In Denver, we also dressed all in white with red accents. Only we were chased by members of the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls team. With whiffle bats. So we had to run pretty fast. The course is only a kilometer long, which is less than a mile, but it’s long enough!

About 300 people donated funds to help this year and there were 15 of us from the Long View Denver office taking part. We met up beforehand in our whites and reds and we all lined up together, thinking we’d stay close. That didn’t last long – once they set us loose, it was every man or woman for themselves. I’m not sure what’s scarier, being chased by the bulls of Spain or by the roller girls of Denver.

The run finishes off in a street that’s lined with patios, many of which were local businesses that sponsored the fundraiser. They were all filled with cheering people as we came running into the final stretch. It was definitely a lot of fun and a rewarding feeling knowing that all of it was supporting kids in our community.

This was just the start of things in our Denver office. What’s next for the Community Relations Committee? You’ll just have to check back here to find out.

In closing, this might seem like it goes without saying, but for me, one of the best things about working at Long View is the people I work with. It takes all types to do what we do, and to have found so many individuals that possess the same sort of spirit is a pretty cool thing.